John McElhinney was born in Blenheim but started school at Shirley Primary School in Christchurch then went to high school in Waimate, South Canterbury, with his last year at South Otago High School in Balclutha.
He returned to Waimate and worked on a cropping farm in Makikihi then spent a year on a Gisborne sheep and cattle station, where he was successfully granted a rural field cadetship that financed him through his Dip Agriculture and Dip Valuation & Farm Management at Lincoln College in Canterbury.
John had a five year career with the then State Advances Corporation in Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa, where he gained registration as a valuer. That led on to a five year stint with Williams & Kettle in Gisborne as a field officer and later assistant manager of the branch. It was here that he entered into real estate and, after a brief period in his own valuation and farm management practice, he was approached by Gisborne Sheepfarmers to manage their real estate division, as well as carry on his valuation work. He did this successfully for another five years. By then, after various mergers, the company was owned by Dalgety Crown. John was transferred to Auckland, stationed in Albany, and then, when the Wrightson takeover was imminent, opened his own real estate business specialising in the hospitality industry.
From there, he moved to 22 years of living in Rarotonga, where he developed a valuation and real estate business, as well as a busy holiday home rentals agency. He was an active Rotarian there and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for his contribution, which included two terms as President of the Rarotonga Club.
In 2015, John returned to Gisborne, where his daughter and her family live, and after gaining his real estate certificate, John is excited about reuniting with his previous co-worker, Allan Cameron, and developing a strong PGG Wrightson Real Estate branch. With the keen team at PGG Wrightson Real Estate, John is very optimistic about establishing a good market share and helping grow the overall branch business.
He remains a Cantabrian supporter in all sports.